Featuring bestselling children's authors Lauren Child (Ruby Redfort), Shirley Hughes (Alfie), Cathy Cassidy (The Chocolate Box Girls), Liz Pichon (Tom Gates), Francesca Simon (Horrid Henry), Anthony Horowitz (Alex Rider), Guy Parker-Rees (Giraffes Can't Dance), Rachel Bright (Love Monster) and Tony Robinson himself, the event will take children on a journey through their imaginations and the world of some of their favourite characters.
Don Quixote, a nobleman obsessed with chivalry and romance, decides to go on a quest to accomplish great feats which will bring glory to his name. In Barcelona, Lorenzo, the innkeeper, chases away the penniless Basilio, who is flirting with his daughter Kitri. He has already promised her hand to the rich Gamache. When Don Quixote appears, he mistakes the inn for a castle, Lorenzo for its lord, and Kitri for Dulcinea, a princess.
A group of young warriors, led by Solor, are out hunting. Before entering the forest, Solor sends a fakir to tell the temple dancer (bayadère) Nikiya that he will meet her later that night. When Nikiya and Solor meet, they swear eternal fidelity to each other, little knowing that the High Brahmin, who is also in love with Nikiya, has overheard them and decided to take revenge. The High Brahmin rushes to reveal the secret to the Rajah, who has selected Solor as the betrothed of Gamzatti, his beloved daughter. Nikiya, unaware of the arrangement, agrees to dance at the couple's betrothal celebrations.
The Nutcracker first opened in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and was Tchaikovsky’s last ballet. Composed over one year, its score today is one of the most popular of all ballet scores. For The Nutcracker Tchaikovsky again joined forces with Marius Petipa, with whom he had collaborated on The Sleeping Beauty. This version, choreographed for the Bolshoi by Yuri Grigorovich, is full of romanticism and philosophical reflections on ideal love.
Puccini's much loved work is presented in a celebrated production which blends exquisite costumes and set design with some of the most moving music ever written. A tale of love, cowardice and courage, Madama Butterfly is a timeless work and will make you fall in love with opera all over again.
Puccini's late, great masterpiece is brought to life by director and choreographer Graeme Murphy in this spectacularly visual and boldly colourful opera.
Young Englishman Lord Wilson is travelling through Egypt with his servant, John Bull. At the foot of a pyramid they meet a caravan of Arab merchants, who kindly invite them into their tent. Suddenly a powerful storm breaks. The travellers and merchants are forced to take shelter inside the nearest pyramid. The caretaker asks his uninvited guests to keep quiet, as Aspicia, the daughter of one of Egypt's most powerful pharaohs, lies in a tomb nearby. Settling down in a corner, the merchants light their opium pipes, and Lord Wilson also asks for a chibouk. He falls asleep and begins to have fantastical dreams.
In the palace, the heir to the kingdom, Prince Siegfried, is celebrating his birthday. He is congratulated by his mother, the Princess Mother, his friends and courtiers. In a majestic ceremony, Siegfried is made a knight. Young girls try to attract his attention, as the prince must choose a wife during his birthday ball. By nightfall, overcome by emotions of a different order and dreaming of a pure and ideal love, Siegfried escapes into the night and finds a flock of swans, which he decides to pursue.
In a Scottish manor on the morning of his wedding, James awakens from a dream to discover a beautiful winged sylph before him. Entranced by the vision, he attempts to capture her, but she escapes him and vanishes. During the wedding preparations, James hardly notices his fiancée Effie; instead she is wooed by Gurn, whom she ignores. James joins in the preparations, but gradually he realises that his dreams go far beyond the walls of the manor, and that his obsession with the winged creature risks his own happiness and that of Effie.
In a similar vein to the National Theatre’s smash-hit classic comedies, She Stoops to Conquer and London Assurance, The Magistrate is sure to have audiences doubled up with laughter. When amiable magistrate Posket (John Lithgow) marries Agatha (Olivier Award winner Nancy Carroll, After the Dance), little does he realise she has dropped five years from her age – and her son’s. When her deception looks set to be revealed, it sparks a series of hilarious indignities and outrageous mishaps.
The opera experience of a lifetime, Opera Australia presents Verdi's masterpiece, La Traviata, performed by an exceptional cast and orchestra on a unique floating stage. A tragic tale of the conflict between love and reputation in 19th century France, La Traviata features some of opera's best-loved showpieces, including the famous Drinking Song, Libiamo ne'lieti calici and Violetta's impassioned aria, Amami, Alfredo.
Göran Järvefelt's Don Giovanni is a stylish, timeless production. Although many singers have played the title role, no one has inhabited it as memorably as Teddy Tahu Rhodes.
Mozart paints the light and shade of his character brilliantly as the ultimate womaniser finally faces something he cannot outwit. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
This production is a masterpiece of scenic art, inspired by traditional Hindu painting, and brought to life by an ensemble decked out in the glorious finery of Southern India. The magnificent visual detail complements Delibes' wonderful music in this tragic tale of love and honour. Conducted by Emmanuel Joel-Hornak and starring librettos Edmond Gondinet and Philippe Gille, Emma Matthews, Dominica Matthews, Roxane Hislop, Jane Parkin, Aldo Di Toro, Luke Gabbedy and Stephen Bennett.
Opera Australia presents a brand new production of Puccini's La Bohème from director Gale Edwards, starring two of the most exciting young singers in opera today, Takesha Meshé Kizart as Mimì and Ji-Min Park as Rodolfo.
This glorious classic has been transported to the glittering Spiegeltent of 1930's Berlin, in a production designed by Brian Thomson and Julie Lynch. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in Shakespeare's strange fable of consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton. Wealthy friend to the rich and powerful, patron of the arts and ostentatious host, Timon of Athens is surrounded by freeloaders and sycophants. He vastly outspends his resources but, finding his coffers empty, reassures his loyal steward that all will be well. When he calls upon his associates, instead of offering help, they hang him out to dry. After a final, vengeful banquet, Timon withdraws to a literal and emotional wasteland, living off roots and pouring curses on a morally bankrupt Athens.
Julie Walters plays Judy Haussman with Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory as her children in this eagerly anticipated new play: a funny, touching and sometimes savage portrait of a family that's losing its grip. Anarchic, feisty but growing old, high society drop-out Judy Haussman remains in spirit with the Ashrams of the 1960s while holding court in her dilapidated Art Deco house on the Devon coast. After an operation, she is joined by wayward offspring Nick and Libby, sharp-eyed granddaughter Summer, local doctor Peter, and Daniel, a troubled teenager who makes use of the family's crumbling swimming pool. Together they share a few sweltering months in this chaotic world of all-day drinking, infatuations, long-held resentments, free love and failure.
Mark Haddon’s celebrated, multi-award-winning novel is beautifully and imaginatively adapted into a stage play for the first time. Christopher, 15 years old, stands beside Mrs Shears’ dead dog, Wellington. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in his book to solve the mystery. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.
On the eve of the 2012 Man Booker Prize announcement, this year’s shortlisted writers will be reading and discussing their work in front of an audience.
The event will be chaired by one of the UK’s favourite broadcasters, James Naughtie. The names of the participating authors will be revealed after the 2012 shortlist is announced on 11 September.
Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich after scenario by Lidia Pashkova, based on medieval knights’ legends. To a lush exotic score by Alexander Glazunov, Raymonda tells the tale of a French noblewoman betrothed to a Crusader knight, and her attempted abduction by a spurned Saracen rival. The ballet ends with the famous celebratory Hungarian dance in honour of the Hungarian King.
A swashbuckling romantic tale of the rescue of a beautiful slave from her tyrannical master by a handsome pirate – with some of ballet’s most famous individual passages, including the famous pas de deux. Medora, a young Greek girl, is sold to Pasha by a slave dealer.
The Bolshoi’s production of The Bright Stream has been described as one of the funniest ballets ever seen on stage. A big-city dance troupe visits a collective farm to perform for the bemused workers. During a harvest festival on a collective farm on the Russian steppe, a Moscow dance troupe arrives from the big city to entertain the workers, causing all manner of hilarious trouble when they interact formally and informally with the locals in the process. With a sparkling and witty score by the great Dmitry Shostakovich.
On April 2nd 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final show at Madison Square Garden. LCD frontman James Murphy had made the conscious decision to disband one of the most celebrated and influential bands of its generation at the peak of its popularity, ensuring that the band would go out on top with the biggest and most ambitious concert of its career.
SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS is both a narrative film documenting this once-in-a-lifetime performance and an intimate portrait of James Murphy as he navigates the lead-up to the show, the day after, and the personal and professional ramifications of his decision.
Back in 2002 Fatboy Slim's iconic Big Beach Bootique party on Brighton Beach, one of the biggest parties ever seen, captured the imagination of party people all around the world.
A decade on, Fatboy Slim took the Big Beach legacy a big step further, this time to a stadium where he staged one of the biggest productions for a party the world has ever witnessed.
The BFI is celebrating and exploring The Genius of Hitchcock on a truly Olympian scale this summer with the most comprehensive examination ever of his body of work. True ‘Hitchcock Blonde’ Tippi Hedren takes to the stage to discuss her film career and memories of Hitch while filming The Birds (for which she won a Golden Globe for most promising newcomer) and Marnie.
Claus Guth's direction takes Don Giovanni out of its traditional squares and palaces and into the wild woods, where animals live, mystery lurks, and the notorious ladies' man seeks shelter. In Guth's almost cinematic production, every character appears to be seeking either salvation or damnation. With a physique as striking as his full-bodied baritone voice, Christopher Maltman embodies Don Giovanni as an almost reluctant seducer, a man fated to bring misery to women - and ultimately to himself.
Probably Mozart's best-known opera, The Magic Flute was created by the composer with his gifted librettist Emanuel Schikaneder in 1791. Jens-Daniel Herzog's production presents the story as a clash of two worlds: on one side, the world of light and rationality; on the other, the world of night, feelings, imagination and dreams.
One of the most frequently performed of all operas, Puccini’s La Bohème is based on the tales of Henri Murger, who memorialised the life of Parisian artists and bohemians in the serialised novel Scènes de la Vie de Bohème in the mid-19th century.
As part of the London 2012 Festival - the largest festival the UK has ever seen - Picturehouse Cinemas are delighted to play host to the premiere of four short films by distinguished British directors, specially co-commissioned by the London 2012 Festival, Film4 and BBC Films.
Mike Leigh, Asif Kapadia, Lynne Ramsay and Max and Dania have drawn on their unique perspectives of sport and UK life to create films which celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Perhaps the only opera to be inspired by a newspaper cartoon strip, The Cunning Little Vixen features a cast of animal characters in a depiction of rural life that is rich in both humour and humanity. This new production of Janáček’s final opera is directed by Melly Still, who made her operatic directing debut at Glyndebourne in 2009. Rising British sopranos Emma Bell and Lucy Crowe make their Glyndebourne Festival debuts as the Vixen and the Fox respectively.
La Cenerentola retells the story of Cinderella with an irrepressible score from Rossini. This production, directed by Peter Hall, was first seen in 2005 when Opera magazine called it "thoughtful, fresh and full of insight" and The Daily Telegraph thought it "met the Glyndebourne gold standard". Ruxandra Donose sings the role of Cenerentola and baritone Maxim Mironov, making his Glyndebourne debut, is the prince, Don Ramiro. (Captured live in 2009)
A revival of Jonathan Kent's award-winning 2009 production, The Fairy Queen is a magical brew featuring dazzling singing and dancing, flamboyant cross-dressing, a flying horse and a warren full of rampant rabbits! The Daily Telegraph called it "an absolute riot... executed with taste and style" while The Observer said "it is hard to imagine a more brilliantly creative approach to the work." The cast includes Lucy Crowe, Claire Debono and Carolyn Sampson.
This new production of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro brings together two thrilling artistic talents in director Michael Grandage and Glyndebourne's Music Director-in-waiting, Robin Ticciati. Rising British soprano Sally Matthews makes her Glyndebourne Festival debut as the Countess alongside Italian baritone Vito Priante in his debut as Figaro.
This production of Ravel's only two one-act operas will reunite director Laurent Pelly and conductor Kazushi Ono, who made their Glyndebourne debuts in 2008 with Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. While L'enfant et les Sortilèges shares with that opera a child's-eye view of a sometimes threatening world, L'heure Espagnole is a thoroughly adult confection. Stéphanie d'Oustrac, who last sang at Glyndebourne as Sesto in Giulio Cesare, will sing Concepción, while Canadian baritone Elliot Madore will make his UK and Glyndebourne debut as Ramiro.
The Traverse Theatre is Scotland's home for new theatrical writing. Impossible Things Before Breakfast comprises five specially commissioned plays formulated and rehearsed during the Edinburgh Festival 2010. Something very different from anything you've ever seen in a cinema before... Featuring works by Simon Stephens, Marina Carr, Linda McLean, Enda Walsh and David Eldridge.
Jamie Cullum performs an exclusive set at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, including new unheard material alongside some classics from his bestselling albums. Experience the magic of Jamie's solo concert on the big screen.
The most enigmatic and subtextual songwriter the English-speaking world has ever known, revered and covered by the entire music community. Leonard Cohen possesses an exact sense of prose, a wry sense of humour and the courage to wrestle with the unspoken, forgiving human frailty with the brush of each line. Keith James presents a concert of Cohen's amazing material in the most intimate and sensitive manner possible.
Atlantic Productions' BAFTA-winning documentary explores the colourful world of flying dinosaurs, brought to breathtaking life through state-of-the-art CGI technology. Accompanied by David Attenborough's expert commentary, the film is a visual feast, a highly informative glimpse at a long-lost prehistoric world - and a lot of fun too.
British mountaineer Andy Kirkpatrick has a reputation for being extreme. He is obsessed with climbing the most difficult winter routes he can find, often completely alone. He is also the UK's only stand-up mountaineer, funding his dangerous trips through his outrageously funny theatre shows, recounting his extreme adventures with a heady mix of observational comedy and self-deprecating tales of survival. His book Cold Wars charts a period of his career marked by increasingly high-risk climbs, including a 15-day winter ascent of the Dru in the Alps and the first winter ascent of the East face of Mermoz in Patagonia.
If blockbusters can make a staggering amount of money no matter how bad they are, would it really be that hard to make a good one for a change? Why pay to watch films in cinemas that don't have a projectionist but do have a fast food stand? Outspoken, opinionated and hilariously funny, Mark takes us into the belly of the beast to ask what is wrong with the movie industry - and what we can do to make it right.
In a broadcasting first, the opening of the exhibition 'Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan' at the National Gallery was beamed live to cinema screens. The exhibition brought together the largest ever number of da Vinci's paintings, including some never seen before in the UK. Presented by Tim Marlow and Mariella Frostrup, Leonardo Live featured detailed examinations of the works and interviews with experts, while giving art lovers the opportunity to share in the excitement of viewing the exhibition before it opened to the general public.
Dion Boucicault's classic romp. Sir Harcourt Courtly is lured away from fashionable London by the promise of a rich and beautiful bride, Grace, several decades his junior. But this rural Venus's charms are eclipsed by her hearty cousin, the foxhunting Lady Gay Spanker. Meanwhile, Courtly's son arrives, in disguise, and rapidly falls for Grace. When Lady Spanker discovers the young couple, she needs little prompting from the visiting chancer Dazzle to lead Sir Harcourt astray. Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw star as Sir Harcourt and Lady Spanker, two of the great comic roles of the English stage.
“O, that this too too solid flesh would melt.”
Hamlet, prince of Denmark, sees his father's ghost. Tormented by loathing and consumed by grief, he must avenge his father's murder. What he cannot foresee is the destruction that will ensue. With Rory Kinnear - celebrated for his performances at the National in Burnt by the Sun, The Revenger's Tragedy, Philistines and The Man of Mode - as Hamlet.
A provocative and wholly unique hybrid of dance, theatre and music, Fela! explores the world of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Featuring many of Fela Kuti's most captivating songs and Bill T. Jones's visionary staging, Fela! - an original creation - came via Broadway to London and the National Theatre. Using his pioneering music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), Fela! reveals Kuti's controversial life as an artist and political activist. Winner of three 2010 Tony Awards including Best Choreography (Bill T. Jones).
"Who is it that can tell me who I am?"
An ageing monarch. A kingdom divided. A child's love rejected. As Lear's world descends into chaos, all that he once believed is brought into question. One of the greatest works in western literature, King Lear explores the very nature of human existence: love and duty, power and loss, good and evil. Michael Grandage directs Derek Jacobi as Lear in this production from the internationally acclaimed Donmar Warehouse.
"All I ask is the possibility of love!"
Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein's bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature is determined to track down his creator. Scientific responsibility and the nature of good and evil come to the fore in this thrilling gothic tale. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature in Danny Boyle's acclaimed production of Mary Shelley's novel, adapted for the stage by Nick Dear.
Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, directed by NT Associate Director Howard Davies, whose productions of Russian plays, including Philistines, Burnt by the Sun and The White Guard, earned huge critical acclaim. Zoe Wanamaker plays Madame Ranevskaya.
Adapted by Richard Bean, based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, with songs by Grant Olding. In Richard Bean's English version of Goldoni's classic Italian comedy, sex, food and money are high on the agenda. Fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small-time East End hood, now in Brighton to collect £6,000 from his fiancée's dad. But Roscoe is really his sister Rachel posing as her own brother, who's been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers...
“We all said we wouldn’t last the day, but tell me - what is there a man can't get used to?”
1950s London. In the kitchen of an enormous West End restaurant, staff from across Europe argue and flirt as they race to keep up. Peter, a young cook, thrives on the pressure and manages to strike up an affair with married waitress Monique. But in the all-consuming clamour of the kitchen, nothing is far from the brink of collapse. First performed in1959, The Kitchen is a blackly funny and furious examination of life lived at breakneck speed.
A stunning production, based on the epic masterpiece by Miguel de Cervantes, originally created for the Bolshoi by Marius Petipa in 1869. Choreography by Alexei Fadeyechev.
Glyndebourne has become synonymous with The Rake's Progress thanks to John Cox's 1975 production, which was framed within David Hockney's delightfully post-Hogarthian cross-hatched designs. John Cox and David Hockney recreated their acclaimed production for this version, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
Michael Grandage, Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, made his long-awaited operatic debut, directing this production of Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd at Glyndebourne to widespread critical acclaim. Sir Mark Elder conducted Billy Budd for the first time, marking the 100th operatic production of his illustrious musical career.
With its familiar fairy-tale story, feelgood ending and magical mix of simple folk tunes and rich Wagnerian textures, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel has long cast its musical spell over both adults and children. This deliciously witty production sees the broom-maker's two outcast children lose their way in the enchanted forest before finding themselves in every hungry child's dream.
A recording of Glyndebourne's highly acclaimed 2010 production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Compulsive philandering is one thing, but brutal rape and murder are quite another. As an unrepentant Don Juan continues to elude his earthly pursuers, other-worldly powers are forced to intervene, leading to a fire-and-brimstone climax that ranks among Mozart's most earth-shattering achievements.
Wagner's warmhearted Midsummer's Day comedy is a hymn to the transformative power of young love and natural talent to refresh tired traditions and remake the world anew. The tale of a young knight who wins the hand of a goldsmith's daughter with the help of the canny cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is a glorious celebration of art and the shared joy of song. David McVicar directed Glyndebourne's first ever production of Die Meistersinger, with Vladimir Jurowski conducting.
The quintessential romantic ballet, Giselle recounts the moving story of a peasant girl whose everlasting love transcends death. Choreography by Yuri Grigorovich.
A sumptuous ballet based on the Victor Hugo story of Notre Dame de Paris. The poet Gringoire, sentenced to be hanged, is saved in extremis by the beautiful gypsy girl Esmeralda, who agrees to marry him. Archdeacon Frollo, torn between his love for God and his obsession with Esmeralda, sends his henchman Quasimodo to capture her. Esmeralda is rescued by Phoebus, the captain of the guard, who gives her his scarf as a souvenir. Later, alone, Esmeralda starts dreaming about the handsome captain.
Based on the well-known fairy tale and with a sumptuous score by Tchaikovsky, Sleeping Beauty is one of the world’s best-loved ballets. At the christening of princess Aurora, the evil fairy Carabosse puts a terrible curse on her and predicts that she will prick her finger and die on her sixteenth birthday. Fortunately, the Lilac Fairy, who has not yet offered her gift, lessens the curse: Aurora will be plunged into a deep sleep for a hundred years but will be woken by a prince’s kiss. The fateful birthday arrives and the king and queen urge the beautiful princess to choose a husband. Having forgotten about diabolical Carabosse, they do not notice that, disguised as an old woman, she is approaching Aurora...
Inspired by Jacques Prévert's scenario for Marcel Carné's film, José Martinez brings to life 19th-century Paris, revealing a magical and mysterious world. Choreography by José Martinez.
Drawing inspiration from the story of the Roman emperor, Nicolas Le Riche explores the mind of a man in the grip of megalomania. Choreography by Nicolas Le Riche.
A portrait of a society ready to sacrifice its passions on the altar of respectability. But above all, The Lady of the Camellias is about a young woman's drama of love; a drama that, propelled by movement, becomes a true inner journey through time and space.
The classic Christmas-time ballet about toys that come to life at night, based on the tale by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann and with magical music by Tchaikovsky. On Christmas Eve, Marie’s godfather, Drosselmeyer, gives her a nutcracker in the form of a soldier. At midnight, after the celebrations are over, Marie watches a miracle: the Christmas tree begins to grow, the toys come to life and all the lead soldiers rally under the Nutcracker’s command. The Mouse King and his army of mice declare war; the Nutcracker flies to Marie’s rescue just as she is threatened by the mice.
For over 40 years Christopher Hitchens wrote and spoke with passionate commitment on matters that others fear to broach. His life was one of defiance, wit and humility. Throughout, his devotion to the truth and his extraordinary courage were undiminished. In this special event for Intelligence Squared, he was in conversation via satellite from Washington with his friend Stephen Fry. A unique opportunity to watch one of the great public intellectuals of our age discussing politics, literature and, as he put it, "the things that make life worth defending".
Live from the Royal Festival Hall, this special event marks the publication of Stephen Fry's new volume of autobiography The Fry Chronicles. Stephen will be beamed, direct via satellite, into your favourite local cinema, to give an exclusive preview of his hilarious, frank and uncompromising new work. Book now for this unique opportunity to see the multi-award-winning comedian, actor, presenter, director and writer perform live - in glorious 2D!
Nicholas Hytner’s production of Phèdre with Helen Mirren, Margaret Tyzack and Dominic Cooper. Consumed by an uncontrollable passion for her young stepson and believing Theseus, her absent husband, to be dead, Phèdre confesses her darkest desires and enters the world of nightmare. When Theseus returns alive and well, Phèdre, fearing exposure, accuses her stepson of rape. The result is carnage.
The feisty but lowly Helena falls in love with Bertram, a haughty count. To gain his hand she is set a string of impossible tasks. Even if accomplished, they can hardly guarantee his love. He refuses to bed her and yet says he'll only be hers if she bears his child; and he lusts after another. Nevertheless, our heroine, whether wisely or no, refuses to give him up. Set against a background of sexism, snobbery and a battle between the generations, Shakespeare's All's Well that Ends Well turns fairy-tale logic on its head. A wondrous, bittersweet story.
"Oh I think you think I want to eat you but – no no no – I am offering you afternoon tea – over there – in one hour."
A parallel world, 1860. Two teenagers are thrown together by a tsunami, miles from home. Neither speaks the other's language; somehow they must learn to survive. Together they come of age, overseen by a foul-mouthed parrot, as they discard old doctrine to forge a new Nation, in Mark Ravenhill's exhilarating adaptation of Terry Pratchett's witty and challenging adventure story. NT Live: Nation was supported by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.
Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W. H. Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first for 25 years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station. Alan Bennett’s play looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately, on the habit of art.
A Disappearing Number weaves together the story of two love affairs, separated by a century and a continent. The first is set now. The second, set in 1914, tells of the heartbreaking collaboration between Srinivasa Ramanujan, a penniless Brahmin from Madras and the greatest natural mathematician of the 20th century, and his British counterpart, the brilliant Cambridge don G.H. Hardy. With a haunting original score by Nitin Sawhney, this piece of startling visual poetry from Simon McBurney and Complicite is a compelling meditation on love, mathematics and the pain of exile.
“A curious story”, as the Prologue says. In a remote English country house live an old and faithful housekeeper, two young orphans and an eager new governess sent down from London to look after them. But all is not quite as it seems in the sheltered world of Bly: spirits from the past increasingly encroach upon the realm of the living. Benjamin Britten's brilliantly scored, insidiously compelling adaptation of Henry James's novella takes its themes of childish innocence and adult corruption, then twists and turns them to disturbing and ultimately devastating effect.
A beautiful mechanical doll threatens the happiness of two lovers. Choreography by Sergei Vikharev.
What happens when you spend most of your childhood in a cinema? Is excessive consumption of films bad for you? Britain's leading film critic Mark Kermode considers these great questions, drawing on scenes of real life: getting shot at while interviewing Werner Herzog in the Hollywood Hills, being handbagged by Helen Mirren at the BAFTAs, and being thrown out of the Cannes Film Festival for heckling in very bad French.